What you need to know about HIPAA Compliance

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act of 2009 (HITECH) are national standards put into place to: 1) protect the privacy of personally identifiable heath information, 2) secure personally identifiable health information stored and/or transmitted electronically, and 3) promote the meaningful use of health information technology. As of September 23, 2013, compliance with these standards will be mandatory for all applicable healthcare entities AND their third-party vendors. Failure to comply with these standards can result in both civil and criminal penalties.

Do you know if you and your third-party vendors are HIPAA compliant? Do you need some help finding out?

Thankfully, RJS Smart Security provides healthcare organizations and their business associates with a comprehensive evaluation of their protected health information and data environment with a HIPAA assessment. RJS follows the emerging Penetration Test Execution Standard (PTES) as the model for these assessments.

HIPAA Compliance with RJS Smart Security

Our HIPAA assessment focuses on HIPAA regulations for companies who may or may not be facing an audit. During this engagement, we look at the following:

Compliance is not the same as security. Compliance defines the bare minimum needed to protect specific data types or industries. This engagement identifies lean ways to meet HIPAA requirements so that your business still has resources for security.

Strategy is perhaps the most critical security task, as well as the least used. A strategy engagement identifies what HIPAA compliance pieces you already have, what you need and how to get there. Several risk assessment methodologies are available to guide us in crafting a security plan that ideally fits your health care business.

Policies and Procedures review the body of written controls that are currently in use and assess how well they are being followed. Policies often age as technology improves and procedures are followed poorly as they lose applicability.

And, depending on the scope of your engagement, we also examine:

Network Vulnerability involves scanning your network to identify the operating systems and applications in use. Older applications are a common vector in successful attacks, but these flaws can only be addressed if you know they exist.

Web Vulnerability focuses on the many common problems found in web applications, such as SQL injections looking to steal or alter data, scripting to exploit users or weak configurations.

Data Analysis identifies the documents and databases an organization is storing and the risks resulting from possible data leakage. This analysis helps you determine ways to centralize storage and eliminate the unnecessary.

A Success Story

Healthcare Services Provider*

A medical services company had grown by acquisition and upon examination of their network infrastructure, an increasing number of legacy applications were cause for mounting concern. With fewer people on staff who knew how they functioned, it was increasingly difficult to maintain their security and comply with the regulations of HIPAA and HITECH.

To help simplify the process of application management while working within a tight budget, the company hired RJS to review one legacy application each quarter. In the short term, this approach helps the firm meet their Business Associate requirements. In the long term, the newly-built applications can be maintained at a lower cost.

* The company name has been kept anonymous due to the sensitivity of the work performed.